Roethlisberger gets the message, resumes midweek practice

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin provided the hint, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got the message.

After missing significant practice time the past two weeks, Roethlisberger practiced with the Steelers (6-3) Wednesday despite his sprained right shoulder.

Participating with the team Wednesday has Roethlisberger optimistic that he will play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers (4-5).

"Oh yeah, I'm practicing," he said. "I'm going to practice today and every day, unless something happens. It always helps when you're actually out there doing stuff and guys can hear your voice and see the ball come out of your hands. So I think it will help a lot."

Tomlin told the media Tuesday during his weekly news conference that the lack of practice time could be one of the reasons Roethlisberger is struggling. Roethlisberger has eight interceptions in his past three games, and his timing with receivers has looked off at times.

Prior to the past two games, Roethlisberger rested his ailing shoulder during the week and returned to practice Friday, while backup quarterback Byron Leftwich got most of the first-team reps.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com.